Tag: kia

The 2022 Kia Sorento is on a tear!

The 2022 Kia Sorento is on a tear!

The 2022 Kia Sorento
The 2022 Kia Sorento EX Hybrid

Now into its fourth-generation, the 2022 Kia Sorento is on the road and ready to grab onto the coattails of success that its larger Telluride sibling has been enjoying as of late. We tested the 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX and the 2022 Kia Sorento SX-Prestige X-Line. They are two of the sharpest looks from Kia’s evolving line of SUV/Crossovers.

And before you go off saying this is just a slight revision, we will stop you. This new Kia is fresh from its entirely new chassis on up and has received a good “seeing-to” that includes four powertrains, one of which is a new PHEV model later this year.

What is the Kia Sorento?

Kia Sorento open hatch
The 2022 Kia Sorento EX Hybrid as viewed from the rear.

The Kia Sorento is a midsize four-door SUV with a hatchback. It can carry up to six passengers with new captain’s chairs or seven with a bench seat. Power comes from an array of engine choices, including a 191 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder with conventional eight-speed automatic transmission. Other choices include a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four as we saw in our SX-Prestige X-line, with a dual-clutch 8-speed automatic that makes 281 horsepower, and later this year, a plug-in hybrid PHEV option. FWD or optional AWD is up to the buyer’s choice.

2022 Sorento Hybrid
The 2022 Kia Sorento EX Hybrid 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

Our Hybrid EX tester was powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a 44-kW electric motor that combines for a total of 227 horsepower. Available in front-wheel-drive only, the hybrid package utilizes a six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA estimates fuel economy of 39 mpg city/35 mpg highway, with 27 mpg combined. That’s not too shabby for a good-sized SUV. Nor was the power: Our secret road course was the perfect venue to let the Sorento get out and strut.

How does the new Sorento look?

The Sorento continues with a new stylized version of the “tiger nose” grille and daytime running lights surrounding the LED headlights. The new “clamshell” style hood wraps over the bodysides. The overall effect gives the Sorento a longer and leaner exterior. Other design cues are here as well, along with the distinctive wave shape at the base of the C-pillars and chrome signatures found below the A-pillars.

Kia Sorento hero2
The 2022 Kia Sorento EX Hybrid

The strengthening of appearances on the new Kia Sorento has helped to toughen it up overall, replacing it with a much stronger, muscular appearance. Some credit goes to its newer and more angular silhouette and assertive styling.

Overall, it’s a clean, aggressive look.

The new Kia Sorento is available in nine trim levels ranging from base LX, S, EX, SX, SX-Prestige, SX-Prestige X-Line, S 1.6 Hybrid, EX 1.6 Hybrid and the soon-to-arrive PHEV model.

How is the 2022 Sorento inside?

Sorento Interior
The 2022 Kia Sorento EX Hybrid Interior front seats.

Inside the 2022 Sorento, buyers will find a glamour-puss of an interior compared to the outgoing model. The by-now ubiquitous 12.3-inch digital gauge display is available that makes the instrumentation jump off the dash. There’s also a 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen display that displays everything from navigation to audio to cellular to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The second row of the Sorento featured more legroom than we were accustomed to in the previous version of this SUV. Credit the additional stretch of 1.4-inches to the wheelbase for that extra backseat floor space. Buyers can select the standard bench seat to haul up to seven passengers, while those opting for the captain’s seats will settle for six. Wireless Qi smartphone charging and an optional 12-speaker Bose sound system help to sweeten the deal.

Desirable options.

Options are few on the new Sorento, with Kia preferring to tuck them into the various trim levels instead. The most desirable option of the bunch would be to pop for the all-wheel-drive system on the base LX model, which includes a snow mode for those in wintry-climate locales. For us, that’s a no-brainer.

Stepping up to the turbocharged EX 2.5T brings with it a panoramic roof with a retractable power sunshade. It’s perfect for those born in the Age of Aquarius. See Google for the lyrics.

Behind the wheel of the new Sorento!

Climbing behind the wheel of the 2022  Kia Sorento EX 1.6 Hybrid (truly a mouthful) was a pleasant surprise for a vehicle that we thought was rather played-out in its last iteration. While that one was tired, this new model is a better-put-together example of what the Kia brand is capable of. It didn’t end there, either. The 1.6-liter turbo/hybrid powertrain displayed pluck at every turn, whether cruising around town or passing the speed demons on the interstate.

Power from the SX-Prestige X-Line’s 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 offered up to 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. We found it more than sufficient to squeal the wheels, and offered amazing pep for an SUV this size.

At the end of the week though, we were actually sad to see this one go. With a new, ultra-refined interior, sufficient power to pass, and enough technology to save fuel, we found ourselves really enjoying this vehicle, which is a viable alternative for those not needing the added size of its larger Telluride sibling. It gave us a new appreciation for what was once an ungainly duckling that turned into a swan.

2022 Kia Sorento Photo Gallery

2018 Kia Stinger GT2 RWD Review

2018 Kia Stinger GT2 RWD Review

2018 Kia Stinger GT2

Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler

Back in the day, when General Motors was King, Chevrolet was their bread and butter brand while Pontiac was “where the action was.” At the Hyundai Group, we think it’s appropriate to consider Hyundai Motors in the Chevrolet role while Kia is “where the action is,” as seen with their new 2018 Kia Stinger GT2. Why, the action is so here that even Steven Tyler and Emerson Fittipaldi are interested!

The Upselling of an image.

kia stinger gt2
kia stinger gt2

As has been mentioned more than 10,000 times on the Internet already, the Kia Stinger GT2 is based on the Kia GT concept car that debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Impressed for sure, it merely showed some ideas that were bouncing around the design studio. Jet forward seven years and what we actually got Instead looks like a huffed-up version of the Kia Optima, with a steroid supplier on speed dial.

With a Kia Optima parked side-by-side with our Stinger tester, it is clear that they only share a passing familial resemblance, which included the familiar tiger-nose treatment at the grille. While the Optima is a front drive vehicle, the Stinger is a rear- or all-wheel-drive (AWD) Grand Touring machine. Oh, did we mention it has a liftback? So right from the get-go it’s the anti-SUV.

kia stinger gt2
kia stinger gt2

Walking around the vehicle, we notice the wide under-bumper intake for the intercooler flanked by vertical intakes for the air curtains to help trim the airflow over the front wheel wells. There is a lot of detail to like in the LED headlight area which leads to a character line stretching from the front to the rear, ending at the slightly upturned spoiler/deck/trunk lid. There are interesting doo-dads throughout, but we think the side gills tend to fussy things up, where they don’t need fussying up. Along the way, we notice design inspiration from vehicles like the Audi A5, BMWs 4series Gran Sport and even the Jaguar XF sedan.

Trimmed out.

The 2018 Kia Stinger is available in five trim levels starting with Base, Premium, GT, GT1 and highline GT2 models. Of course, we lucked out with the GT2 version (cue the smug grin). We loved the Hichroma Red metallic paint which set off our black Nappa Leather interior nicely.

kia stinger gt2
kia stinger gt2

The interior trim was a step up over anything we have seen in Kias past, and although it looked as though lifted from the interior of an early 2000-era Mercedes Benz sedan, it was nice but not ostentatious.

Being the GT2, that meant that the Stinger was dripping with every possible option from the Kia parts bin including the 3.3-liter twin turbocharged V6 engine that produced 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. That engine, which it shares with the new Hyundai G70, seemed perfectly matched to this five-door, five-passenger Grand Touring sedan that somehow managed to tip the scales at nearly 4000 pounds.

Under the hood.

kia stinger gt2
kia stinger gt2

Although the Stinger’s base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, twin scroll turbo engine producing 255 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, the Stinger really cries out for the 3.3-liter twin turbo V6 that was in our tester. Both are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Our GT2 was equipped with an electronically controlled suspension which adapted on the fly to a specified a drive mode which included Smart, Eco, Comfort and Sport along with custom, which allowed you to pick one from column A, one from column B and so on.

The View from others.

It seemed that the general public got the advanced notice that the Kia Stinger GT2 would be arriving soon. Perhaps that’s why we had so many comments from onlookers, enthusiasts, car salesmen and just regular man on the street types who usually were heard to utter, “that’s a Kia?” We’d nod yes, and acknowledge their polite thumbs up signal with a quick wave before we were off.

Behind the wheel.

Hoofing away from a stoplight had us suddenly pushed back into the adjustable bolstered seats that managed to keep us settled as the skinny pedal unleashed the 365 horses up front. Power continued to pour out from the twin turbo V6, accompanied by a lusty brrrrrrrrrrrrrp from the quad pipes out back. This was like no other Kia we have ever driven.

Stepping into the sport mode found the Stinger holding tight through the turns in a way that almost brought a flashback of what it was truly like to driver a real rear wheel car. Oh, how we miss that! The steering was firm but not overly so, which made us feel as though we were in control at every moment. Kudos, too, to the paddle shift levers that control the eight-speed automatic gearbox. The Stinger felt planted, allowing us to apply power whenever we wanted. When we tired of driving in anger, or when the spousal unit told us to quit hooning and cool it, we were just satisfied to absorb the quietness that came from a well-designed and insulated interior.

Something Special.

From the moment we got into the Stinger, it was clear that we were settling into something special. It was a way of showing that the brand had finally arrived. Many years ago, Kia was what you could charitably call a brand of last resort. Somewhere along the way, a “come to Jesus” moment happened in Seoul, with someone saying “we are done being the laughing stock of the automotive industry.”

The result was transformational, and through the stewardship of such industry “lumineers” like Kia president and chief designer, Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Europe designer Gregory Guillaume, performance maestro Albert Biermann and numerous others, it is very clear we are not talking about the same company.

2018 Kia Stinger GT2 RWD V6

Story and photo by Mark Elias

Base MSRP: $49,200. As tested: $50,100

No options, includes $900 destination fee.

 

Kia Stinger GT2 Key Specs

Cylinders:                       V6

Displacement:               3.3-liters

Power:                             365 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque:                           376 lb-ft @ 1300-4500 rpm

Fuel System:                 Gas Direct Injection

Fuel:                                Premium recommended

Acceleration:                 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds

Drive Type:                    RWD

Gearbox:                         8-speed Automatic with paddle shift levers

Tire Size:                        225/40R19 front, 225/35R19 rear

Unladen Weight:         4,023-pounds

Length:                          190.2-inches

Width:                           73.6-inches

Height:                          55.1-inches

Wheelbase:                  114.4-inches

Cargo Volume:            23.3 cu/ft seat up, 40.9 cu/ft seat down

City:                               19

Highway:                      25

Combined:                   21

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”115″ gal_title=”2018 Kia Stinger GT2″]

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2018 Kia Niro PHEV First Drive

2018 Kia Niro PHEV First Drive

We look for any excuse to travel the world, so when Kelley Blue Book contacted us about driving the new 2018 Kia Niro PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), on a road trip from Kia headquarters in Irvine to the Golden Gate city of San Francisco, we jumped at the chance. Along the way, we found out what life behind the wheel of a Plug-in Hybrid was really like and were able to do some good for those, who through circumstances beyond their control, found themselves homeless through the forest fires in Ventura California. The New Niro PHEV offered the best of the Gas and Hybrid worlds with plug-in battery power that would carry it approximately 26-miles, and then a gas powered four-cylinder that would help to regenerate more energy to those same cells. Read more about the Kia Niro PHEV at Kelley Blue Book….

2018 Kia Niro PHEV
2018 Kia Niro PHEV

The rules were “there are no rules” so we set out on a journey that took us through the corporate jungle of Irvine, through the urban sprawl of metropolitan Los Angeles, to Fresno and beyond. My driving partner, Dan Frio and I, started calling out through the local Red Cross and Salvation Army offices to find who needed assistance or supplies. In Ventura Strong, a local support group in Ventura County, we found just the people that were in need of our help. After stopping at a local Costco for supplies including more than 440 bottles of water, and numerous cleaning items, we were packed to the gills. There was only enough space for our suitcases directly behind the driver and passenger seats in front. Every other gap and cubbyhole in the Kia Niro was filled.

We found the Channel Island Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in Ventura City, California as our supply drop off point. A majestic building in its own right, the Masons in Ventura had converted the upstairs meeting rooms into small scale department stores for local residents to come through to select clothing free of charge. It was the perfect gesture of helping one’s brother, especially when they had escaped the Ventura fires with literally the shirt on their back. The lodge was a beehive of activity late into the night.

The signs posted around town saying “Thank You, Firefighters” were surely not lost on us.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”91″ gal_title=”2018 Kia Niro PHEV”]